Friday, 21 June 2013


RGMotorsport’s first supercharged Toyota 86 has come storming out of their Strydom Park workshop…from where it headed straight to Gerotek to record some very impressive performance numbers. These include a top speed of 258.8 kilometres an hour, a 0 – 120 km/h sprint of 8.9 seconds and a standing kilometre in 26.4 seconds at a terminal speed of almost 205 km/h...

As part of the validation process, the car was also put through its paces by teenage race sensation Jacques ‘The Stiglet’ Joubert, who pronounced himself highly impressed after a bruising day of hot laps at Zwartkops. After pounding around the Pretoria circuit without a hiccup, The Stiglet stopped the clocks with a 1 min 14.5 second lap, which he felt was a good indication of the car’s pace.

“The RGMotorsport 86 Supercharged is great fun,” enthused the teenager, who is far more chatty than his taciturn namesake. “The power delivery is so smooth and predictable, you can drive it really sideways! Whereas before the gearshift paddles were just there for show, now the car really feels racy when you go up the ‘box with them.”

At this point an important fact needs to be mentioned: as you may have deduced from the reference to shift paddles, all these numbers were garnered with an automatic transmission car, which is normally woefully short of urge at Reef altitude. Despite its sporty aspirations and undisputed ability through the twisties, existing owners of the two-pedal version have grown accustomed to seeing all but the most limp-wristed of family cars disappearing into the distance.

When we tested this very car in standard form some months back we managed a rather lame 0 – 120 km/h of 14.1 seconds, a kilometre taking more than half a minute. Not the kind of numbers that you want to trot out around the braai, unless you want to give your mates a good chuckle.

The solution as RGM sees it is to upgrade the 147 kW naturally-aspirated flat four to a 220 kW/315 Nm forced induction one. That’s a 50 percent increase in grunt and as is their wont, RGM has achieved this with the help of a Vortech bolt-on blower – imported from the USA in kit form – and fitted in the workshop by a team of skilled technicians.

In fact this conversion – in which every nut, bolt and washer arrives in a box which also contains an intercooler – is really simple by RGM’s standards. With many Supercharged conversions a variety of components need to be designed and manufactured from scratch, but they’ve taken a different approach here, which has helped them keep price down and reduce turnaround time.

Forcing the air into the intercooler is a V-3 H67BC centrifugal supercharger and this particular unit is designed specifically for the horizontally-opposed FA20 Boxer engine. The package incorporates a generously-sized airbox and an optimised filter housing which allows for additional flow while retaining the factory cold air ram intake.

One of the most important parts of the conversion is the work done by RGM’s dynamometer gurus post-installation. To this end a Unichip auxiliary engine management computer is used to remap ignition, air and fuel requirements, ensuring consistent power and reliability when running on standard 95 octane pump fuel.

Says RGMotorsport’s managing member Rob Green: “I believe we really hit the sweet spot with this conversion and it works exceptionally well. There are no sacrifices when it comes to smoothness and drivability and the power delivery is fierce without being scary. Drive it normally and you wouldn’t actually know it is Supercharged, but when you put your foot down and flip the paddles down a ratio or two it really goes.

“Now we’ve finished the first automatic our focus shifts to the three-pedal version, and we’ve got our eye set on getting a sub-six second 0 – 100 km/h sprint out of it – that’ll certainly put it in the major league as far as sports cars go.”  

The Toyota 86 RGM Supercharged costs R85 000 including a Techniflow exhaust system, and comes with a six month or 20 000 km warranty on all components used in the conversion. 


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